Also: The fastest growing U.S. cities aren’t what you think, and the lead problem extends well beyond Flint.

Keep up with the most pressing, interesting, and important city stories of the day. Sign up for the CityLab Daily newsletter here.


What We’re Following

Speedway: Next month, Indianapolis is set to unveil its first bus rapid transit route, putting a speedy express coach in a city that’s famous for a car race. But that’s just the first lap to chasing a bigger dream: building a whole new bus network. Back in November 2016, voters approved a tax to fund a service boost for local transit operator IndyGo. With electric buses, dedicated lanes, new stations, and a frequent service network, the revamp represents a big step up for an almost entirely automobile-oriented city.

A big selling point of the system is its low price tag, at least compared to rail-based revamps. The cost of all the rapid bus lines—62 miles with 97 stations—is projected to be about $500 million, and much of that tab will potentially be picked up by federal funding. That’s much cheaper than the multi-billion dollar light-rail proposal that fell recently flat in Nashville. The transit improvements could be a big deal for equity too: While less than 1 percent of commuters in the metro use transit to get to work, almost one in 10 Indianapolis households do not have a vehicle. Aaron Renn, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute (and a former Indy resident), writes that the improvements stand to be transformative by making a little-used bus system more useful. On CityLab: A Car-Centric City Makes a Bid for a Better Bus System

Andrew Small

More on CityLab

The Fastest-Growing U.S. Cities Aren’t What You Think

Looking at the population and job growth of large cities proper, rather than their metro areas, uncovers some surprises.

Richard Florida

New York City’s MTA Tries a New Role: Suburban Developer

The largest transit agency in the U.S. is building a mixed-use development next to a commuter rail station north of Manhattan.

John Surico

Will Another U.S. City Emerge As the ‘Next Flint’?

It’s becoming clear that the problem of lead in Americans’ drinking water extends well beyond Flint.

Molly Enking

It’s 10 p.m. Do You Know Where Your Friends Are?

Constant location-sharing is now the norm for some friend groups.

Julie Beck

The Paris Metro, But For Bikes

Cycling advocates have proposed a network of bicycle paths connecting the suburbs and city center, comparing their plan to the region’s rapid transit system.

Feargus O'Sullivan

What We’re Reading

Back on campus, students confront a challenging housing market (Curbed)

Neglected parking garages are being given new purpose (Governing)

Vision Zero is the wrong goal (Jalopnik)

“Granny flats” mean more affordable housing, but more parked cars too (Christian Science Monitor)

More U.S. towns are feeling the pinch as recycling becomes costlier (NPR)

Tell your friends about the CityLab Daily! Forward this newsletter to someone who loves cities and encourage them to subscribe. Send your own comments, feedback, and tips to

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Life

    The Cities Americans Want to Flee, and Where They Want to Go

    An Apartment List report reveals the cities apartment-hunters are targeting for their next move—and shows that tales of a California exodus may be overstated.

  2. photo: a pair of homes in Pittsburgh

    The House Flippers of Pittsburgh Try a New Tactic

    As the city’s real estate market heats up, neighborhood groups say that cash investors use building code violations to encourage homeowners to sell.  

  3. Transportation

    In Paris, a Very Progressive Agenda Is Going Mainstream

    Boosted by big sustainability wins, Mayor Anne Hidalgo is pitching bold plans to make the city center “100 percent bicycle” and turn office space into housing.

  4. photo: San Diego's Trolley

    Out of Darkness, Light Rail!

    In an era of austere federal funding for urban public transportation, light rail seemed to make sense. Did the little trains of the 1980s pull their own weight?

  5. Life

    Can Toyota Turn Its Utopian Ideal Into a 'Real City'?

    The automaker-turned-mobility-company announced last week it wants to build a living, breathing urban laboratory from the ground up in Japan.